LaCrosse, Wisconsin – The Bethel College men’s basketball team improved to 8-0 on the season defeating Viterbo University 85-66 in the Viterbo Invitation Tournament Saturday afternoon.
The Pilots would set the tone defensively holding Viterbo to 33 percent shooting for the game and 28 percent from three-point range. Likewise, Bethel converted on 48 percent from the field and 44 percent from long distance including three bombs apiece from Zach Miller and Clay Yeo.
Both teams exchanged baskets in the early going as the game featured six lead changes and one tie.
With 9:18 remaining in the opening half freshman guard Chris Mitchell converted on a layup that would give Bethel a 25-24 advantage and a lead they would never surrender. The Mitchell bucket would begin a 12-0 run for the Pilots including three’s from Matt Schauss and Caleb Oetjen to give Bethel a 40-28 lead.
In the closing seconds of the first half senior Matt Schauss would drive the lane and miss a running, one-hand lay-up, but Clay Yeo was there for the offensive put-back at the buzzer giving BC a 51-36 advantage at the break. Yeo would lead Bethel at intermission with 13 points while Matt Schauss added 10. Senior Zach Miller would contribute all nine of his points in the first half.
The V-Hawks would use the first three minutes of the final act to close the gap to 11 (53-42), but Yeo would convert on back-to-back triples to push the lead to 17 at 59-42.
Viterbo would get five quick points before Bethel opened up the game with a 10-1 run courtesy of four points from Schauss, a layup from Caleb Oetjen and Ryne Wassink and two free throws from Yeo to go up 69-48.
The V-Hawks would get no closer than 17 for the remainder of the contest as the Pilots pushed their advantage to 23 (75-52) after another free throw toss from Yeo with 5:55 left.
Yeo would end the contest with 25 points, nine rebounds and two blocks while being named Viterbo Invitational Most Valuable Player. For the weekend, the 6-5 sophomore averaged 23 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Senior Matt Schauss, who earned All-Tournament Team honors, scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting while adding four rebounds and two blocks.
Additionally, the Pilots would receive great minutes from freshmen Chris Mitchell and Juwan Carpenter. Mitchell chipped in 11 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes of action while Carpenter added six points and four rebounds in 24 minutes of play.
Next up for Bethel (8-0) is a road game at rival Indiana University-South Bend on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Crosstown Showdown.